Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Random Thoughts

Probably the hardest part of doing mission's work is staying focused even when things seem grim.  I can't tell you how many times I have emotionally wanted to throw in the towel and just go back to the way things were, especially when it means financial safety. 

So I've come to this conclusion:  the experiences gained during this time will both strengthen us and be useful to counsel future candidates with Believer's Bridge.  What greater testimony than the one that experiences the difficult times and not just the one that talks about it!

So here are a few highlights of those hard (and sometimes humorous) times we've been having:

If you have followed the Rowley Adventures, you already know we had a rough time from the very beginning.  There was a blown-out tire on the trailer, a busted pulley from the air-conditioner (which threw the serpentine belt), very high winds almost the whole trip (not fun with a high-profile vehicle...), and less than normal living conditions for weeks now.

But wait, there's more!  A few weeks after our survival, I mean arrival in CA, it seemed the weather decided to camp rain clouds over Southern California, where it dumped DAYS of rain.  It was a forced hibernation!  in a 200 sq. ft. space!  with 3 boys!!  (and two grumpy parents by the 3rd day...).  That's when survival instinct kicked in and motherly instinct went out and boys were pushed out of the RV into the rain (with jackets, of course).  I was never happier to accomodate wet clothes than those days.  :-)

So, on the first day of no rain (about 5-6 days later), I decided I needed to clean things up a bit.  Imagine my frustrated surprise when I pulled up one of the top cushions to find a puddle of water underneath it.  Turns out one of the front windows had a slow leak.  Mildew and soaked cushion and wood is what I got to clean up.  The good news:  Bill apparently fixed the leak with calking and the cushion is back in good shape.

By the way, a little fact that one doesn't think about often:  windows will condense with water when it's cold and wet outside while warm inside...  We had wet towels for days....

I have saved the best for last.  We've been having an ongoing saga with our mail.  Before we left AL, Bill had forwarded our home mail to the CA address that we are currently at.  On first day of arrival we find several magazines and a confirmation for the temporary forwarding.  Our illustrious Chelsea post office apparently did not get the address and decided to forward the mail to the Birmingham PO.  The Birmingham PO didn't have the address so they sent it back to the Chelsea PO. 

This is starting to sound like a Lorrel and Hardy sitcom!  Meanwhile, the Chelsea PO kept calling our ministry office but did not leave a message.  The only reason we found this out is Bill finally calls the Chelsea PO to find out what is going on.  Great.  So he talks to the lady and they apparently straighten things out.  She will priority mail what has accumulated (some of the mail was returned to sender addressed as undeliverable...). 

We are quite excited b/c we look forward to getting our mail again.  And it should arrive before Christmas.  Even better.  Christmas comes and goes and still no Priority Mail box from Chelsea.  (Finger nail tapping on hard surface heard in background).  Bill calls them up again.  Turns out the lady forwarded the box to our Pelham PO Box!!!  AHH! 

So you see, there's no need to go on a foreign mission field to get mission-quality experience.  Just move to Chelsea...  I mean, just experience it here in the good 'ole US of A. 

On a more sober note, I think all those experiences each of us goes through can either strengthen us or tear us down.  It all depends on how you live life and Who you trust.  So yeah, anyone can throw in a towel, but it takes perseverence to keep going.  Oh, and a faithful friend will be sending our PO Box mail to us.  And hopefully that is the end of the Mail Saga.

"And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."  Romans 5:2b-4

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